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Becoming an economically empowered businesswoman in Uganda: Jackline’s Story


June 22, 2023 • 2 min read

For Jackline Amono, 34, a resident of Lela Jok village, Adilang sub-county in Agago district, Uganda, a lack of income to support her family's needs made it so her life was no bed of roses.

Jackline had lost hope of ever becoming a financially stable woman. She often struggled to put food on the table, pay for medical fees, or support her children’s educations. With little faith, she resorted to subsistence farming to feed her family.  

However, one day an opportunity came beckoning as she considered what to do with her life. Jackline was selected as a Community Market Agent (CMA) in her area in late 2021 under a new GOAL project, the Uganda Youth Engine (UYE), funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad). 

The project’s aim is to increase household income and savings by targeting rural young women (70%) and men between the ages of 18 and 35 years old and to increase their engagement in income-generating activities within the cassava, soybean, and sunflower value chains in four rural sub-counties of Wol, Adilang, Geregere, and Kotomor in Northern Uganda.  

Renewed Hope

“We received a number of training courses in agronomy, crop pest and disease control, in addition to financial management with an emphasis on savings, so that we can start-up businesses for a sustainable livelihood,” she says.    

“I was trained in good farming techniques, such as crop specification, which enabled me to cultivate soybeans, sunflower, and cassava on a larger scale than before for commercial purposes. Last year, I was able to harvest 15 bags of soybean in the first season, and this earned me a total of 5,040,000 Ugandan shillings (About US $1,350 or 1,250),” Jackline says. 

In the same year, during the second season, Jackline says she planted sunflowers on a seven-acre piece of land that fetched her a total of 5.1 million Ugandan shillings (About $1345.65 or 1,260) from the sale of the harvest this year. 

“GOAL also trained me on how to save money. I am now a member of a Village Saving and Loan Association (VSLA) in my area, and this has eased my financial problems since I can borrow money for emergencies that crop up from time to time,” she says. 

Jackline in her retail shop

A New Home

Jackline revealed that last year alone, she was able to save a total of 3,586,000 Ugandan shillings (About US $961 or 891). It is from these savings that she has started constructing a 3-bedroomed permanent house and a modern pit latrine to improve the sanitation situation of her family. 

“I hope to finish this construction by December 2023. Since my income has increased, I have sent all my children back to school with all the necessary requirements, like uniforms, books, and shoes,” Jackline says with a smile. 

She says that with a new toilet, her children will now suffer less from diarrheal outbreaks, which will ensure they stay longer in school too.  

Jackline is now consulted by several of her community members for being an exemplary model farmer in their area. 

Jackline stands beside her permanent house, which is currently under construction